52 residents # 19 service

It seems apposite that 'service' should be the blogging prompt on the 75th anniversary of VE day, marking the end of the second world war in Europe. To my shame I have not researched Springhill residents' involvement in the war - another item on my massive 'to do' list.

I do know that Springhill resident Jack Watkins was living about 2 miles away in Whitewell Bottom at the time. He was too young to serve but as a teenager was involved in fire watching. This involved keeping watch at night in case a stay bomb should land on the village (which at that time comprised approximately 200 people), then run to the public phone box to raise the alarm. He did wonder what to do should the bomb take out the telephone box. Unlike WW1 when a couple of strays did land close to Springhill (and thankfully did not ignite or explode), Jack was undisturbed during his nights of watching.

I also know of Nellie Redman, the sister of Springhill resident Alice Taylor nee Hargreaves who was brought before the magistrates for breaching the blackout. The magistrate, a rather severe lady with glasses well down her nose, stared and Nellie and asked how she pleaded. 'Oh guilty, guilty' was the reply. Nellie received a token fine. The magistrate, Carrie Whitehead, was a member of a well know local family and sister to a Springhill resident Harold Whitehead.

Of course this isn't 'service' as such but the war affected everybody in different ways, just as the current covid situation does today. Those of us on the 'front line' (and really, we are just doing our jobs) are supported by those who deliver to and staff the shops for example, and those whose social distancing during lockdown has helped prevent the NHS being swamped with cases.

Bunting in Springhill was a relatively subdued affair:

VE day 2020

but this was approx 75 yards away on Newchurch Road. Note Churchill on the right.

VE day